Tag Archive for Paul R. Pillar

Putting a Rush to War on Pause

By seeking congressional approval before bombing Syria, President Obama may have recognized a political reality – the danger from pressing ahead unilaterally on a risky mission – but the move also offers a valuable breather in the hasty rush to war, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

The Risk from Distorting Intelligence

The Obama administration’s emotional reaction to the alleged chemical attack in Syria may be understandable given the human toll, but the high-level clamor for action put pressure on intelligence analysts assessing the evidence. It also could have distorted their judgments, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.

Dangling Questions on Syrian War

Official Washington’s neocons are in full-throated war cry over Syria, creating what many of them surely hope is a momentum toward a U.S. intervention that cooler heads won’t be able to stop. But many questions regarding this latest rush to war remain unanswered, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

In Case You Missed…

Some of our special stories from July, focusing on the National Security Agency surveillance scandal, the deepening chaos in the Middle East, and the American Right’s growing hostility to science and history.

‘End of History’ Hits Bump

Amid the triumphalism of the Cold War’s end, Francis Fukuyama foresaw the “end of history” with capitalist liberal democracy prevailing. But that hubris has confronted failures of both capitalism and democracy in recent years, raising doubts about history’s course, ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar observes.

Why Israel Wants No End to Egypt’s Aid

The Israeli government and its U.S. lobby are pulling their political levers in Washington to prevent a cutoff of U.S. aid to Egypt in response to the military coup and bloody crackdown on Islamists and backers of ousted President Morsi. But saving the Camp David Accords is not the reason, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

Citing ‘Terrorism’ to Justify Terror

Despite U.S. and European appeals for restraint, the Egyptian military slaughtered supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, an atrocity rationalized by claims of combating Islamic “terrorism.” But the bloody crackdown is likely to make terrorism a self-fulfilling prophecy, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

A Method to Egypt’s Madness

The bloody assault on Egyptians protesting the ouster of democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi has the look of madness – as the military pushes Islamists toward more violence – but there is a sick logic if the generals see more Islamic extremism as their lock on U.S. aid, writes ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

How Congress Overlooked NSA Spying

Edward Snowden’s leaks about the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs might have been avoided if more members of Congress had done their duty to stay informed about these classified activities, rather than get distracted by the fluff of politics, says ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The ‘Do-Something’ Myth in Syria

A common refrain in Official Washington is that President Obama should have intervened militarily in Syria’s civil war and that somehow that would have solved the problem. But there’s no reason to think that U.S. meddling would do much good, as ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar explains.